Ngige, Ukachukwu, Obiano Make INEC List For Anambra Gov Poll

By Chuks Okocha

........Uba, Nwoye dropped
........Jega asks politicians not to overheat polity

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Tuesday listed the names of candidates cleared for the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State with the names of Senator Andy Uba and Mr. Tony Nwoye, who have been engaged in a battle to run on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), missing on it.

Instead, the commission listed Chief Nicholas Chukwuejekwu Ukachukwu as the party's candidate for the election.

The commission also listed the names of Chris Nwabueze Ngige and Willie Maduabuchi Obiano as the candidates on the platforms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), respectively.

A statement from the office of the commission's secretary, signed by U. F. Usman, hinged Ukachukwu's recognition as the PDP governorship candidate on a judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, which ordered it to approve his candidature for the election.

The statement said the publication of the names of those sponsored by 23 political parties and their running mates was in line with Section 31 (3) of the Electoral Act.

The statement said: “Two political parties, namely the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had issues with the candidates they intend to sponsor before the closure of nominations on September 17th, 2013.

“But the Federal High Court in Awka eased the contention over APGA's nomination by vacating its order directing the commission to accept two governorship candidates from the party.

“For the PDP, the commission resolved to list Nicholas Chukwuejekwu Ukachukwu as the governorship candidate in accordance with the latest order as delivered by the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/296/2013 – Nicholas Chukwuejekwu Ukachukwu vs. Dr. Tony Nwoye & 3 Ors.

“The commission advises political parties and their members that only those on the list published by it are allowed to conduct campaigns. Any violation of this rule amounts to an electoral offence and security agencies are urged to intervene as such.”

In addition to Ukachukwu, Obiano and Ngige, the other candidates for the election and their parties are: Okeke Chika Jerry (AA), Chukwuemeka Nwankwo (Accord Party), Ifeatu Ekelem (ACD), Anthony Anene (ACPN), Aaron Igweze (AD), Anayo Arinze (ADC), Patrick Chukwuka Ibezeako (APA), Austin Nwagwu (CPP), Chijioke Geofrey Ndubuisi (DPP), Christian Ikechukwu Otti (ID) and Dennis Nwaforka Oguge (KOWA).

Others are: Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah (Labour Party), Simon Chinweuba Okafor (MPPP), Okonwo Emeka Webster (National Conscience Party), Leonard Uchendu (NNPP), Ezeemo Godwin Chukwunenye (Peoples Progressive Alliance), Basil Iwuoba Oranekwu Ijedimna (PPN), Onuarah Basil Onyeachonam (SDP), Okoye Godson Mgbodile Ohaenyem (UDP) and Akaneebu Ogochukwu N. C. (UPP).

Earlier yesterday, INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, had cautioned politicians against overheating the polity ahead of the 2015 elections.

He also urged them to continue to promote peaceful conduct and civility in their engagements.

Jega, who spoke at a meeting between INEC and political parties in Abuja, told the politicians to comply with Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, which states that campaigns can only begin 90 days before the polling day and end 24 hours to the election.

He said: “As we inch along towards the 2015 general election, we have been intensifying efforts to ensure full readiness in all fundamental respects.

“We therefore continue to solicit for your cooperation, partnership and support to ensure that we deliver free, fair and credible elections to Nigerians in 2015.

“In particular, we urge you to do everything possible to sanitise the polity. You must have an enlightened self-interest, because deepening and sustaining our democracy is in the best interest of all politicians, as it is for all citizens.

“We must avoid the temptation to throw away the baby with the bath water. You must stop overheating the polity. You must continue to promote peaceful conduct and civility in political engagements and electioneering.

“You must stop the rising tendency towards thuggery in campaigns and elections. In recent by-elections, we saw disruptions of the electoral process caused by thuggery; this must be stopped in order not to undermine our aspirations for credible and peaceful elections in 2015.”

Politics Anambra Governorship Elections: APGA Lucky Soludo Failed Screening Test

Chief Victor Umeh, National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has described the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,Prof. Charles Soludo who attempted to fly the party's flag in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State as a high risk candidate who would have been difficult to sell.

According to DAILY POST, in an audience participatory interview programme in Rhythm FM tagged 'Viewpoint', Umeh cleared the air about the rumour in the state that Soludo's disqualification was a planned deal.

He said that the leadership of the party decided to draw up a form to be filled by every aspirant with a question which demanded to know if an aspirant had ever been detained for any case of fraud or had a pending case, this he said Soludo answered 'no' to.

“But it is clear that he was once arrested by men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for matters bothering on fraud when he was the governor of CBN. When he was reminded about the incident he said 'oh that?'. So, it is clear he only wanted to deceive the party.

“He has been going about saying all manner of rubbish and using guinea pigs to publish falsehood in the media about me and the party. I challenge him to append his signature to any of the write-ups he has been dishing out and let me sue him.

“I heard he joined PDM the other time, so let him contest on the platform of another party and let Anambra people elect him if they wish. He contested in 2010 and we won him, if he is as good as some people want to make us believe, why did they not elect him then?” Umeh asked.

Speaking on the candidacy of Chief Willie Obiano, Umeh said “he is the kind of candidate APGA needs, a candidate who is without blemish, and who has an outstanding record of achievement in public service”.

He added that it was just lucky for the party that Soludo failed the screening test.